Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

King Of Sushi Ho-Dom

Reikyu Sushi & Bar

Mockingbird Station
5321 E. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, TX 75206
Phone: 214-823-3772

I've been to Reikyu three times in the past month, an obvious indication that I like.

Location. Convenient if you frequent Angelika Theatre or anything else in the hallowed, post-hip shrine to consumerism known as Mockingbird Station; second floor, end of the walkway South-South-East of Angelika.

Atmosphere. Sleek. It has a laquered wood and stained concrete loft feeling, contrast-stitched with black linen. Progressive, little-heard EuroTrash on the turntable, audible but not conversation-killing levels. Younger but informed staff are professional roll-with-it types who always smile and find solutions to every challenge.

The Plate. Every good sushi ho has a foundation from which they will judge the entire restaurant. Usually this includes several sushi selections and maybe a roll. If the chef can't get these right, there is not going to be a return visit. Unfair, you say? Tough, when you are wearing the bejeweled crown of all Sushi Ho-Dom, you can make up the rules. My do-or-die selections - Yellowtail, Eel and Sea Urchin. Score on all three. I have to admit the Yellowtail is served non-standard with a splash of sesame oil, which visually turned me off but it did enhance the delicate Yellowtail. The Eel was crisp-tender and the smoky-sweet sauce was thankfully minimal rather than swimming. The Sea Urchin was the best I've had, an enormous piece of billowy surf exploded deliciously. (Yeah, I know Sea Urchin, or Uni, is not everyone's thing).

A couple of rolls worth trying. Philadelphia: Big morsels of lightly smoked whole salmon, avocado and cream cheese. Nine: Shrimp tempura, crab and cream cheese mixed and avocado. Avocado: Ok, this was the best Avocado roll I've ever had. Served in a Mu Shu wrapper and dressed up with a subtly spicy and sweet mustard sauce. All rolls were delicious. What I found interesting about the rolls was that they were served with a sweet low-kick wasabi sauce piped around the plate. Good idea that they did not put the sauce on the roll, a little dab on was perfect, more than that would have been overpowering.

Apps are good, but not stellar. We enjoyed Edamame and their version of Pot Stickers(shrimp).

Service. Polite and efficient. On several occassions they were out of something, usually beverages, but they managed to find a worthy sub. My friend Noeha, in preparation for her 'Far East' party, asked them to create a list of items they could cater. They did, they gave her a great estimate for the lot, plus they recommended several items that would hold up better in a 4-5 hour party time frame.

Price. Mostly reasonable, however the Nine roll is small (4-5 pieces) and almost $10. Try it once, just to say you have. I'd expect about $25-30 a head for apps and normal sushi consumption.

Overall: Reikyu is a worthy adversary in a growing lawn of Sushi houses. They do not rival Teppo, which I consider to be the best Sushi in Dallas, but they are leading the pack of second place entries. Good bet for great sushi in a comfortably fashionable setting without having to forfeit your mortgage payment.

Now kids, the rest of this post has to do with my unfortunate reading of the Guidelive review of Reikyu. Its been a long standing joke in my circle of food hos that we use GuideLive only for directions to restaraunts. Why? Because we consistently disagree with the review and generally we find the writing style dull, wandering and outdated. And really, if you want to know about a restaurant, ask someone you know with similar taste who has been there recently.

Here is their review of Reikyu and my very unkind comments, maybe you will see why the joke will obviously continue.

If you're over 35, be forewarned as you enter Reikyu, the sushi bar at Mockingbird Station: You will probably be the oldest cat in the house.

Really? I've been here 3 times and each time there was quite the age spread. On my last visit there were 4 60-something suits dining solo at the bar. And really, who cares, I think we as a society have transcended the age of Fonzie and Ritchie and kiddie hangouts. Maybe she will get to the sushi next?

Whether customer or staff member, everyone at Reikyu is young, young, young. And if youth creates hipness (which it sort of does), then Reikyu has to be the hippest restaurant in Dallas.

Huh? I'm sorry but sounds like (1) You are headed toward a mid-life crisis with the abusive frequency of the words youth and young (2) You are trying to draw some crazy correlation between youth and hipness. Please, I would love to see the statistical data on that out-your-ass assertion. I could swallow a sense of progressive style begets hip but not just youth. Proof By Counterexample: Witness the hoards of 20-something girls I see each and every day with their tight low-rise jeans and cropped, strappy tank tops, looking like muffin tops with back fat. This might be hip in your world but in mine, its just gross.

Mr. Lee is 21. Reikyu is his first restaurant. He's also working on an electrical engineering degree, but after meeting chef Shochi "B.B." Onuki, he became inspired to open a place.

Wow, neat. I'm sure the other 3000 restaurants in Dallas have owners with equally fascinating stories to tell. But you know, as a patron, I am mostly interested in what's on the plate. So, if Mr. Lee isn't wrapped up in some sushi rice and nori, ready to be dipped into some tangy wasabi-spiked soy sauce, I'm not really interested. Maybe she will comment about the sushi next?

Now she is describing some Fusion menu items: Robata Steak and Lobster Paella. OK, I will give her this, they sound good, I could taste them all as she wrote. It is also important to have some non-sushi items available for the friends of sushi hos that have not yet been enlightened to the raw. But again, these are not items I would try until they have proven to me that they can do the basics, which would be, yes, the sushi.

Perhaps it's coincidental, but there's one other thing that all of the staff shares, aside from youth: Nearly everyone who works here has radical hair, be it gelled, streaked, mussed, waved or spiked. Normal hair need not apply.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, make her stop, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Right, so that whole messy, multi-colored hair thing started in the 90's, you really need to get out more, seriously. And again, I'm not sure what this has to do with whats on the plate.

Did she even talk about the sushi? Let me read this again. Oh yes, here it is.

Sushi is passable.

Oh for the love of all that is holy, you have got to be kidding me! Look, when your ass goes to a restaurant with Sushi in the name, I would expect your ass to eat and comment on some sushi!

Huggs and kissies,
The King Of Sushi Ho-Dom


Blogger Adam said...

I agree about GuideLive, its a good place to find out directions and how much you can expect to spend. Actually even on the expense side of things they are usually sketchy.

For example: They give Arcordorro Pomodorro a full out 4 star rating. I went there for my birthday and was underwhelmed by the food. Everything seemed to be cooked to the point of flavorlessness. The only thing I really enjoyed was the fresh mozzerella from italy, but how can you screw that up?

10:35 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Sounds like a great place! Thanks for the wonderful review. (I'm tasting eel and wasabi right now for some reason... *lol)
And you are so right about GuideLive. I'm constantly amazed that they are able to get the directions right.

4:58 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Adam, Agreeing with you about Arco Pomo, I've had mixed experiences and would not give it that high of a rating. Mi Piaci is consistently better at Italian, IMHO.

5:15 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Jimbo! Youre welcome. Yumm, eel and wasabi, now I'm getting hungry again.

LOL, if GL stops gettting directions right they will stop having a purpose.

5:17 PM

Blogger Brian said...

I love the unkind anti-review, your Ho-liness. I still won't eat sushi, but I promise if I ever write any Dallas restaurant reviews, I won't mention anything except the food. Ouch!

5:36 PM

Blogger Jim said...


LOL, Im sure if you did comment on a sushi restaurant you wouldnt forget to comment on .... the sushi!

7:00 PM

Blogger Sangroncito said... long as it isn't raw!

10:07 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Ah Sangroncito, I thought for sure you be into the raw!

4:22 PM

Blogger Matthew said...

I agree - ignore her - she obviously thought she was reviewing the latest dance club rather than an eating establishment - what an idiot!

8:16 PM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, thats a good way to put it Matt :)

10:17 PM

Blogger Noeha said...

Thanks for putting the record straight! Guidelive should hire you instead...

Not to mention that you already know my opinion on Reikyu - my favorite Wednesday night hangout after my weekly beatings at practice!

9:40 PM

Blogger Jim said...

You have a great post KungFu beating hangout. Its even better when Mr. Tall Dark and Lanky is sitting across from you :)

9:47 PM


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